We really liked it as part of our XavierpopDoesTIFF review and now we have a UK trailer for Jacques Audiard‘s Rust and Bone starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. The movie is very well done powered by some powerhouse acting. Make sure to catch it when it opens up in your city.
About the Film Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) suddenly finds himself with a five-year-old child on his hands. Sam is his son, but he hardly knows him. Homeless, penniless and friendless, Ali takes refuge with his sister in Antibes where things improve immediately. She puts them up in her garage and takes the child under her wing. Ali first runs into Stephanie (Martion Cotillard) during a night club brawl. He is poor, she is beautiful and self-assured and trains killer whales at Marineland. When a performance ends in tragedy, a call in the night again brings them together. Jacques Audiard directs Rust & Bone hitting limited theaters November 16th.
Venice, Telluride then Toronto.
That is the order of the launch of Oscar season and with Venice launching to favourable reviews for The Reluctant Fundamentalist we now have the first press release from Telluride announcing a whole bunch of the titles. The thing with Telluride is that they don’t announce their lineup weeks in advance. In fact, the full lineup and schedule will be announced Aug. 31st.
Stay tuned as MovieJay will break down the fest in the way that only he can. After seeing his vast, detailed and unmatched preview of TIFF and all of its programmes, Venice Film Festival was next. You can be sure that Xavierpop will be the only site in Canada that you can rely on for the best in festival coverage and Telluride is next.
Check out the lineup that has already been announced below. It looks like TIFF12 is getting the tail end of the stick in the festival lineup as pretty much all of the heavy-hitting films that it was proud ‘to have gotten’ are playing at both Venice and Telluride.
All this is good for the filmmakers because the more places available to them in festivals, the more that people will get a chance to watch them.
Oh hello press release:
Telluride, CO (August 30, 2012) – Telluride Film Festival, presented by the National Film Preserve, today announced its official program selections for the 39th Telluride Film Festival. TFF will screen nearly 100 feature films, short films and revivals representing over thirty countries, along with Tribute programs, Conversations, Panels and Education Programs.
Now in its 39th year, Telluride Film Festival opens Friday, August 31 and runs through Monday, September 3. The prestigious Telluride Film Festival is an annual gathering for film industry insiders, cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and critics. TFF is considered a major launching ground for the fall season’s most talked-about films.
Telluride Film Festival Co-Director Julie Huntsinger comments, “TFF prides itself on loyal and personal relationships that deepen and enrich over time, as evidenced by the commitment of the majority of our passholders, filmmakers, and business partners, who come back every year to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in supporting the best and the brightest talents of this year and future generations.”
This spirit of sustainability is reflected in TFF’s prestigious film programs that embrace classic treasures, world masters and the most buzzed-about movies, in the presence and celebration of iconic filmmakers and the freshest young talent; and in our portfolio of business partners from longstanding relationships with revered institutions and quality brands to alignment with exciting new companies and unique relationships with university and high school education providers.
39th Telluride Film Festival is proud to present the following new feature films to play in its main program, the ‘*Show*’:
*THE ACT OF KILLING *(d. Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark, 2012) *AMOUR *(d. Michael Haneke, Austria, 2012) *AT ANY PRICE *(d. Ramin Bahrani, U.S., 2012) *THE ATTACK *(d. Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon-France, 2012) *BARBARA *(d. Christian Petzold, Germany, 2012) *THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE *(d. Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon, U.S., 2012) *EVERYDAY *(d. Michael Winterbottom, U.K., 2012) *FRANCES HA *(d. Noah Baumbach, U.S., 2012) *THE GATEKEEPERS *(d. Dror Moreh, Israel, 2012) *GINGER AND ROSA *(d. Sally Potter, England, 2012) *THE HUNT *(d. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark, 2012) *HYDE PARK ON HUDSON *(d. Roger Michell, U.S., 2012) *THE ICEMAN *(d. Ariel Vromen, U.S., 2012) *LOVE, MARILYN *(d. Liz Garbus, U.S., 2012) *MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN *(d. Deepa Mehta, Canada-Sri Lanka, 2012) *NO *(Pablo Larraín, Chile, 2012) *PARADISE: LOVE *(d. Ulrich Seidl, Austria, 2012) *PIAZZA FONTANA *(d. Marco Tullio Giordana, Italy, 2012) *A ROYAL AFFAIR *(d. Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark, 2012) *RUST & BONE *(d. Jacques Audiard, France, 2012) *THE SAPPHIRES *(d. Wayne Blair, Australia, 2012) *STORIES WE TELL *(d. Sarah Polley, Canada, 2012) *SUPERSTAR *(d. Xavier Giannoli, France, 2012) *WADJDA *(d. Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia, 2012) *WHAT IS THIS FILM CALLED LOVE? *(d. Mark Cousins, Ireland-Mexico, 2012).
Additional *Sneak Previews *may play outside the main program and will be announced on the Telluride Film Festival website: www.telluridefilmfestival.org over the course of the four-day weekend.
“While screening hundreds of new movies for selection, we are looking for narrative and non-fiction films that offer festival goers new experiences, both in the subject matter and the way the filmmakers tell their stories,” said Festival Co-Director Gary Meyer. “This year’s program offers unique insights into the world today and past history. It is an especially strong year for films told by and about women.”
The 2012 *Silver Medallion* *Awards*, given to recognize an artist’s significant contribution to the world of cinema, go to director and producer *ROGER CORMAN *who will present *CORMAN’S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL* (U.S., 2011), *THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH *(U.S.-U.K., 1964) and (*THE INTRUDER *(U.S., 1961); Academy Award-winning actress *MARION COTILLARD *(LA VIE EN ROSE) who stars in TFF selection *RUST & BONE*; and Danish actor *MADS MIKKELSEN *who stars in two TFF selections: *THE HUNT*and *A ROYAL AFFAIR*.
“At the core of each year’s Festival are the Tributes that allow our audiences a chance to gain insight into the creative process of the filmmakers and actors being celebrated,” said Co-Director Tom Luddy. “We are especially pleased with the balance this year, beginning with director/producer, Roger Corman, who has helped launch so many important careers. Then actress Marion Cotillard, whose early career in French films brought her to the attention of the world’s filmmakers and now stars in both European and American movies. Finally there is Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish actor whose powerful performances have brought him much international attention and increasing audience awareness in America.”
Telluride Film Festival annually celebrates a hero of cinema who preserves, honors and presents great movies. This year’s *Special Medallion *award goes to C. Chapin Cutler Jr. and Boston Light & Sound for a commitment to setting the highest standards of film presentations at film festivals and special events worldwide.
Previously announced Guest Director Geoff Dyer, who serves as a key collaborator in the Festival’s program, presents the following six programs: *BARAKA *(d. Ron Fricke, U.S., 1992, new 70mm print); *BEAU TRAVAIL *(d. Clair Denis, France, 1999); *STALKER *(d. Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia, 1979); *TOGETHER *(d. Lukas Moodysson, Sweden, 2000); *UNRELATED *(d. Joanna Hogg, U.K., 2007); *WERNER x 2* includes two Werner Herzog films: *LESSONS OF DARKNESS *(France-U.K.-Germany, 1992) and* THE GREAT ECSTASY OF WOODCARVER STEINER *(Germany, 1974).
Additional film revivals include the “Pordenone Presents” selection of the rarely seen Raymond Griffiths comedy *HANDS UP! *(d. Clarence Badger, U.S., 1926) with live music accompaniment by Donald Sosin; *I KNEW HER WELL *(d. Antonio Pietrangeli, Italy, 1965) selected and introduced by film director Alexander Payne; *THE MARVELOUS LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC *(d. Marco de Gastyne, France, 1929) with The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra; *RETOUR DU FLAMME 2012*, Serge Bromberg’s latest program including the newly restored Charlie Chaplin classic THE IMMIGRANT and HUNGRY HOBOS, the first screening of a lost Walt Disney Film since its 1928 premiere.
A Spotlight will shine on the work and career of director Jack Garfein including screenings of his two movies, *SOMETHING WILD *(U.S., 1961); and *THE STRANGE ONE *(U.S., 1957) plus a conversation led by film critic Kim Morgan.
The 45 movies announced so far in the Special Presentations program for TIFF ’12 are a strong and varied crop, and represent just how bursting-at-the-seems that Toronto has become in kicking off the big fall movie season. Previous Special Pres’ have included Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, Atonement and The Wrestler.
When you go to a Special Pres’ screening, you’re going to find reliable international directors and actors and just as many “big” films as you’d find in the Gala section. From Oscar bait to hidden gems, foreign flicks to common narrative themes, here’s an attempt to make some sense of this year’s selections in the most crowded programme of films at TIFF.
Going for the Gold These Oscar contenders have been preparing for this moment all of their lives. Ok, that’s post-Olympics fever talking. I don’t know how long they’ve been preparing, but this group of films are looking to launch big at TIFF this year, propelling them right into the busy fall Oscar season.
To the Wonder Incredibly, Terrence Malick makes his first appearance at Toronto with To the Wonder, his new marital character drama featuring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams. It’s already a wonder how he has managed to pull off making movies in consecutive years, also a first for Malick. With cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki returning–Tree of Life, Children of Men, Sleepy Hollow–this mostly Oklahoma filmed production promises to be another feast for our eyes.
Cloud Atlas When the directing team of Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski dropped their 5-minute trailer and subsequent interview on the net a couple weeks back, the buzz on this huge international production of the David Mitchell bestseller only increased about ten fold. It fashions together 6 stories, all of which are told in different eras. Fans of hyperlink movies, where many characters and story threads weave into one big tapestry that is meant for us to sometimes draw our own conclusions, should have a good time. With what looks like a fine piece of dramatic, sci-fi pop-philosophy the film stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant, among many others.
Anna Karenina Will the third time be the charm? Pride & Prejudice and Atonement director Joe Wright and star Keira Knightley team up again with a lush production of what Leo Tolstoy referred to as his first real novel. Jude Law and Aaron Johnson co-star, but the overlooked story here is that this pic represents the return of writer Tom Stoppard after a hiatus of a decade at the movies. He’s been missed since Shakespeare in Love and Enigma.
The Place Beyond the Pines Say what? Ryan Gosling‘s a stunt guy again? Sure is, this time he gets out from behind the wheel and onto a motorcycle in what appears to be another dramatic, existential thriller. Director Derek Cianfrance could move straight to the A-list after his Oscar nominated Blue Valentine, also with Gos. Bradley Cooper–aka the guy who’s in everything lately–co-stars along with Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta.
At Any Price I’m hoping for Iranian-American indie director Ramin Bahrani to make a big splash with his new middle-American drama set against the backdrop of agribusiness in these tough times. He came to the festival previously with Chop Shop and Goodbye Solo and brings a refreshing neo-realism to American cinema that we’re more accustomed to with European and Middle-Eastern productions. This time he’s got a budget and big stars in Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron–who is looking for more serious cred here, playing Quaid’s rebellious son. This isn’t on the radar yet, but I’ll bet the farm it will be very soon.
Caught in the Web One of the most intriguing foreign films looking to break out this year comes from Chinese director Chen Kaige (Farewell, My Concubine, Sacrifice) and his social commentary piece involving three women, the internet, how rumors can go “viral”, all set against the backdrop of a fast-moving cultural revolution in China.
Rust & Bone Jacques Audiard just keeps getting better and better. After his arthouse hits with the romantic thriller Read My Lips and the crime drama The Beat that My Heart Skipped, he went onto an Oscar nomination and a Grand Jury Prize win at Cannes for his crime saga The Prophet back in 2009. He’ll be looking to launch another Oscar run from France again this year when this family drama-thriller starring Marion Cotillard premieres at TIFF. She plays a killer whale trainer this time. Can’t wait.
End of Watch David Ayer, the screenwriter of Training Day and Dark Blue, was last at TIFF with his directing effort Harsh Times, starring Christian Bale. He returns with another cop drama, this time with Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and the dependable Michael Pena (Crash, The Lucky Ones) in tow.
The Iceman Is Michael Shannon the most interesting American actor working at the moment? From Bug to Take Shelter to his supporting work in Revolutionary Road, he casts a spell over us onscreen and our fascination with him should continue here. He’s playing Richard Kuklinski, the lifelong contract killer and loving family man who apparently killed over 200 people in the over 30 years he was active in that, umm, profession.
The Impossible Juan Antonio Bayona directed the first-rate ghost thriller The Orphanage in 2008, and now he turns to real life and this devastating recreation of the deadly Christmas tsunami in southeast Asia, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. He transcended the horror genre with his ghost flick; here’s hoping he can do the same for disaster epics.
And Now for Something Completely Different…
A Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman Monty Python fans are salivating over this one, an animated movie about the late Chapman, known mostly for being the “dead one” but who will no doubt conjure nostalgia with this special screening. Chapman stars posthumously in this one from archived commentary he made decades ago from his own personal treasure-trove of memoirs, and everyone else is back for this one too, including John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones. Can’t wait.
Much Ado About Nothing Joss Whedon takes a break from his superhero antics of The Avengers to direct a modern-day reinventing of the classic Shakespeare comedy, shot in 12 days and starring Angel’s Amy Acker and How I Met Your Mother‘s Alexis Denisof. Remarkable change of pace for Whedon. Should be interesting.
Mr. Pip Andrew Adamson is another director switching gears this year. The Shrek and Chronicles of Narnia helmer goes to Bougainville to recount the 1991 war over a copper mine on the small South Pacific island. The story follows a young teenage girl played by newcomer Xzannjah Matsi in a performance generating a lot of pre-festival buzz, who becomes obsessed with Charles Dickens‘ Great Expectations, which is being read to her school by the only white guy around for miles, played by Hugh Laurie.
Quartet Dustin Hoffman proves you really can teach an old dog new tricks. The two-time best actor Oscar winner–for Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man–goes behind the camera for the first time, at 75 years young this year. What’s it about? Retired opera singers played by Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith, among others.
A Late Quartet Every year at TIFF you get your schedule, you make a long list of must-sees, and invariably there are a couple of titles everyone mixes up. Is A Late Quartet the one directed by Dustin Hoffman, or was that Quartet? No, that’s the Philip Seymour Hoffman one. No, wait, which is which again? This one stars P.S. Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken as, wait for it…..wait for it….lifelong members of a string quartet who see each other through good, bad, and lusty times.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Hands down the best actor under 25 right now is Ezra Miller. Last year he was a devil child in We Need to Talk About Kevin, a stunningly assured performance. I think if Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep were to give birth to an acting hybrid of themselves, it would be him. This fall he is going to appear in this dramedy as a flamboyantly gay high schooler alongside Emma Watson and Logan Lerman, and I’m betting that the contrast in roles will cement his status as the hottest young actor in Hollywood.
TIFF runs September 6-16. Ticket packages are on sale now. Keep it tuned to Xavierpop for the sweet ‘n lowdown on all the films showing this year.
The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) concludes Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy by staying true to a world that deepens our experience more than it allows for escape. Before this series, the superhero genre only ever asked of itself to be an amusing diversion: here’s your hero, here’s what they can do, this is their weakness, and over there is the baddie who will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, allowing our hero to prevail.
Give Nolan his due: he has transformed what a superhero movie can be and what it can do by allowing us to live inside its world–one that painfully reflects our own–particularly with this third installment. The Dark Knight does indeed rise, but since this pic’s generosity is overflowing–to a flaw–the Batman rises not once, but twice here. It’s a movie that is all so “too”: too big, too real, too bombastic, too bloated, too grim, too many love interests, a villain whose intentions are too murky and finally, too little Batman.
And yet, the experience is not insufferable. Nolan pushes things as far as they can go without breaking and then closes the set in fine form.
Three of the four big new adds to Gotham are Nolan alums from Inception in Tom Hardy as beefcakey villain Bane; Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, a sultry-smart board member of Wayne Industries; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as idealistic young beat cop John Blake. The further addition of Anne Hathaway as the lithe Selina Kyle/Catwoman provides Gotham with its strongest pedigree of female acting talent yet.
TDKR begins 8 years to the day of Harvey Dent’s passing, for which the Batman took the fall for his crimes and has since vanished. The big lie has obviously worn on the Commissioner’s soul since the very opening of the pic shows him ready to spill the beans in a truth-telling speech before Gotham’s finest. His wife and family have left him for Cleveland, where I suppose the grass would technically be greener than Gotham.
Bruce Wayne has retreated within the bowels of Wayne Manor. A tortured recluse, he now sports a goatee and walks with a cane and limp as if to indulge in his own self-pity. Enter Selina, a housekeeper that Alfred sends to deliver his evening meal. They share a brief, electrifying encounter in a set piece where Wayne discovers that she’s cracked his safe containing his late mother’s pearls. Hathaway is a study in moral relativism, hitting familiar notes that include a caustic wit that served her so well in Rachel Getting Married.
Meanwhile, evildoers never sleep and a parallel narrative introduces us in high-flying fashion to Bane: “Born in hell, forged from suffering, hardened by pain”. He’s handed over to CIA officials who board a small aircraft that is eventually hijacked in mid-air by a group of commandos who come rappelling down cables from an imposing C-130 Hercules transport plane floating above. No blue screen here, no CGI; that’s real footage taken above Scotland.
Bane is freakishly imposing, muscle-bound and with a muddled English accent behind that surgically implanted mask, giving him a hybrid Hannibal Lecter/Darth Vader look, but with a pro-wrestler’s bod. His facial get-up reminded me eerily of the great truth that a muzzled dog elicits more fear than one that is unfettered and readily available to chew your face off.
The sequences showing Bane and company charging into Gotham are brilliantly handled, particularly when they blow up a football field and then crash the floor of the Stock Exchange. “There’s no money for you to steal here!”, a trader implores. “Really, than why are you here?”, retorts Bane.
With Bane cementing his grasp on Gotham, he delivers a self-serving message to the city that he’s their great liberator. He foments civil unrest, turning people against the authorities–including Commissioner Gordon–as well as the decadence of one-percenter types, recalling recent socio-economic protests at home and abroad.
Enter Miranda Tate and the news that Wayne Industries is collapsing due to years of neglect and a philandering venture involving a hybrid-fusion nuclear reactor that possibly holds the key to the world’s energy problems. Facing personal and financial disaster, Albert and Wayne engage in the first of three heart-to-hearts that show off a deeper Michael Caine than usual in the series. The world needs the Batman, and though Wayne appears close to springing into action, he doubts whether his soul is up to the task.
The parallel narratives merge before they drift apart once more, with Bane sending a battered Bruce Wayne to the circular walls of a prison where he spent his years as a child.
Christopher Nolan and brother Jonathan deliver their most ambitious set of ideas yet, involving themes of urban terrorism, social upheaval, and the nature and purpose of life in an indifferent and cruel world. TDKR is less polished, less tight than the first two; the kid on the beach pouring water over his perfect sandcastle, electing to deconstruct things down to mud pies before starting all over again from scratch.
The ideas crash-bang against each other, a messy hero in a messier, clunkier story that casts off adventure for shit-kicking realism. The supporting cast is terrific, particularly in the more intimate scenes involving Albert and Wayne, and the meeting-of-the-minds between himself and Selina. I appreciated Cotillard and Gordon-Levitt in their roles, but the connection between the Batman and Catwoman is so good here that I wanted Nolan to give our caped crusader more on-screen time than he gets.
Tom Hardy is menacing in a thankless follow-up to that one-of-a-kind Heath Ledger perf as the Joker. The contraption on his face renders his speech unintelligible throughout, making us wonder why he’s given more dialogue than your average Woody Allen character. But as a villain, I liked him and can not fault him for a screenplay that sees him quickly grabbing control of Gotham only to wait around for 3 long months so that the rest of the cast can get its act together.
Though The Dark Knight Rises never quite adds up to more than the sum of its parts, it somehow holds together for a strong and firm landing by its deliciously ambiguous conclusion. Put it all together, and it’s a triumphant series for Christopher Nolan, who just kept digging and pushing and going for broke right until the end.
*** (out of 4)
That’s my initial reaction to the conclusion of the Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises.
To be fair, it is a monumental task to try to even come close to the lofty expectations that have been set by the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight. That movie worked for quite a few different reasons, the main one being how it managed to balance everything. The inspired and unmatched acting of Heath Ledger‘s portrayal of the Joker; The largesse conveyed through Christopher Nolan‘s particular style of filmmaking; the well-written script that powered the movie and among other things allowed Christian Bale to really grow into his character after the first instalment; and most importantly how it all tied together in the final act to bring us the proper, fitting conclusion that propels a movie like that to greatness.
Unfortunately, with The Dark Knight Rises we get a film from a filmmaker who has grown weary of his subject matter.
The plot is simple enough. It’s eight years on and we find Bruce Wayne (Bale) in seclusion as the rest of the Gotham applauds the myth of Harvey Dent. Gotham has the lowest crime rate ever as the police have been given sweeping powers to lock up every bad guy within city limits. Why do we need The Batman is the question they all have. All but Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) who knows the truth of what really happened. Never giving up, Gordon remains vigilant against crime knowing that it’s never really over as there is always a threat looming. In this case, his instincts are correct as this threat shows up in mercenary that is Bane. As Bane arrives in Gotham, so does this final chapter unfold.
There are SPOILERS in the rest of the review so stop reading this if you haven’t seen the film yet. If you have please scroll down.
The main problem I am having with The Dark Knight Rises is that when you are attempting to bring such an iconic character like Batman with such a rich history and a vault full of stories and villains to pull from, there is no reason whatsoever that any of the movies should simply be passable. Nolan conveyed that in Batman Begins and than elevated that in The Dark Knight. With The Dark Knight Rises, he seems to be phoning it in.
Don’t get me wrong. Technically, from a filmmaking perspective, the movie is fantastic. Nolan is a talent when it comes to the art and craft of filmmaking and that is easily conveyed here. Problem is the story. It is so bloated and tries to achieve so many things that it starts to implode on itself long before the climax of the movie hits. In fact, I found this particular film’s story so lazy that it is bordering on X-Men 3 travesty level. And that is saying something considering that the film is powered by a fantastic cast. Outside of giving us the great performances this amount of hype demands, their jobs also ended up being to ensure that this film didn’t fly off into the abyss it constantly teeters on.
Anne Hathaway‘s performance leads the way as she brings us an empowered and modern Selina Kyle who is equal to the task of working with the Bat. How her character is introduced is simply inspiring and one of the best things I have seen on film in a very long time.
Tom Hardy delivers an incredible turn as the baddie which struck me as being the same level of dread as when I first saw Darth Vader. Mask and augmented voice aside, his presence commanded a very particular type of attention and that is what makes us believe he is one of the few who can actually defeat Batman, (more on him later).
The nice surprise (but not really) is the performance given by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not only is he a joy to watch, he manages to rise above the muddled mess that he finds himself in at some points to keep us on track. His dialogue and the leaps of faith we have to take with his character are too ridiculous, even for me who loves that kind of thing. In spite of that, he still manages to reel in all that crazy and provide us the beacon of light to follow through to the end.
And then there is the huge lost opportunity that is Marion Cotillard‘s character. I won’t go in to details, however when the reveal happens and the amount of time the movie spends on it, such a waste.
Which leads me to Michael Caine‘s Alfred. I love him in this film. He is absolutely brilliant as Alfred (as per usual). He is finally the Alfred we know in the comics. It’s a very tough task to be the heart and moral compass of Batman and that is what Alfred is. And this why when they take him away about a quarter of the way into the film, I knew we were in trouble. In fact, its at this point that the movie starts to teeter into that abyss I mentioned.
So what of Bale? That is a tougher one to call. He did a great job as Batman and an even better as Bruce Wayne. The difference is key to note as this was notsomuch a Batman film as it was a Bruce Wayne one. When I go in to see a movie about Batman, you would think there would be a lot of Batman actually in it. When the title character is relegated to a supporting role, it’s tough to assess the actor’s performance. In this case, I will give Bale a very enthusiastic pass in the same manner I did with JGL. He did well in spite of the mess around him.
Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon is great as expected as is the minimal time that Morgan Freeman‘s Lucius Fox is on the screen. We also get wonderful performances from a supporting cast that is led by Matthew Modine and includes some inspired casting in Burn Gorman, Nestor Carbonell, Brett Cullen, Juno Temple, William Devane and personal favourite Josh Stewart who plays Barsad, an excellent Lieutenant to Bane’s madness.
It really comes down to this. Sure there are some parts that are brilliantly epic, however like the movie itself you’re lead up to the water only to find a dry well. It never really gets there.
A perfect example is the scene we have seen in the trailer over and over again that starts with so much potential. We see thousands of polices officers lined far down the street (and watching it on the big screen, its even more impressive as those were all real people and not CGI) and then when they all start fighting, instead of this vast battlefield we get to absorb it cuts straight to the inevitable second fight between Batman and Bain. An opportunity wasted like many others.
Which leads me to the final act.
What a mess.
Basically we spent three hours waiting for this epic conclusion to happen and all we get is a stunted attempt at what the movie really should have been. Bane gets relegated back to Schumacher’s Batman and Robin level; one of the greatest characters in the Batman canon is reduced to an afterthought, really a Maguffin; and the main character simply just stops being all the things that we love about him. In fact, I think Batman was never really Batman in this film. His first fight with Bane was very unBatman-like and it just went downhill from there.
I did love the homage to Knightfall that Nolan threw in there. There were a bunch of other little nerd nuggets as well that I will leave up to you to find. Unfortunately, while the parts that delight do not make up for the problems that make the whole lacking, this is a fine film that by itself would be a fun watch. However with the expectations of the character of Batman coupled with Nolan’s vision (when he is inspired), this movie never really seems to get there.
One of the finest films Christopher Nolan has made has to be The Prestige. Sure he is known for his Batman trilogy, however Memento, Inception and the aforementioned The Prestige are really great films. Out of the three I love the last one the best.
It’s for this reason that I fully dig this mash-up trailer where YouTube user Dominaz3000 took all three of Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy and overlays them into Michael Caine’s “three parts to a magic trick” speech from Nolan’s 2006 film about dueling magicians.
Quite a fitting to end up our coverage of The Dark Knight Rises which opens July 20th. Check out the trailer above and tell me I’m wrong.
About the Film Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ The Dark Knight Rises is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale (The Fighter) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar(R) winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar(R) winner Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar(R) winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) reprises the role of Lucius Fox. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.
Check out our ongoing coverage of The Dark Knight Rises including:
- The Official Limited Edition IMAX Poster - Ultimate And Perfect Homage To The #TDKR Trilogy - #TDKR Trailer…..In LEGO!! - International TV Spot For #TDKR With New Footage - Check Out This Badass #TDKR IMAX TV Spot - Listen To The Whole #TDKR Soundtrack By Hans Zimmer - Watch #TDKR Trailer ‘Journey’ Which Mashes All Movies Into One Trailer - Check Out This New Clip From #TDKR Featuring JGL and Anne Hathaway - Check Out A Scene From TDKR Between Oldman And JGL - New And Very Funny TDKR TV Spot - The (Quite Literally) Epic (and Non-Spoilery) 13 Min Dark Knight Rises Featurette - Soundtrack Listing For The Hans Zimmer Soundtrack To ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ - New Commercial ‘The Dark Knight Rises’/Fan-Made Poster For Trilogy - Another Full Trailer For ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ - Two More Banner Posters For The Dark Knight Rises - “I’m Retired…..” 6th Awesome TV Spot For The Dark Knight Rises - Two More International Banners for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ - Very Dope Fan-Made ‘RISE’ Posters for The Dark Knight Rises - ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ MTV Trailer Featuring New Footage - 7 New High-Res Images From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ - Four New Epic ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Poster Banners - The Awesome First TV Spot For ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ - The Second Catwoman-centric TV Spot For ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ - 6 International Dark Knight Rises Posters That Really Bring the Badassosity - New Dark Knight Poster Brings Us A Little Bit of Burning - New Dark Knight Rises Trailer Playing Before The Avengers - The The Dark Knight Rises Official Movie Trailer in HD Goodyness - The First Proper Glimpse of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’